Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

State unemployment rate jumps to 4.8 percent

Hawaii's unemployment rate averaged 4.8 percent last month, up from 4.4 percent a year earlier and higher than it has been in any month for at least the past year. The island jobless rate for July was close to the U.S. average of 4.7 percent. State officials said Hawaii has had a jobless level of well over 4 percent for most of this year.

Oahu's rate last month was 4.1 percent, up from a year-earlier 3.7 percent. The Big Island averaged 8 percent in July, up from a year-earlier 7.6 percent. Kauai was at 7.2 percent, up from 6.5 percent; Maui was at 4.2 percent, up from 3.5 percent; and Lanai was at 2.7 percent, up from a year-earlier 2.3 percent. Molokai was the only island to show a jobless decline but it still had the highest level in the state, 13.2 percent, down from 17.5 percent in the previous July.

Data suggests recession likely in Japan

TOKYO >> Evidence that Japan's economy shrank from April to June mounted today as government indices showed industrial and construction activity dwindling, underscoring the task ahead for Japan's reformist prime minister. The all-industries index, effectively a supply-side proxy for gross domestic product, tumbled 1.9 percent from the previous quarter -- its first quarterly drop since 1998 and largely within economists forecasts. The index shows Japan still close to recession, its fourth in a decade.

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